The UME joins the device to help extinguish the fire at the biomass station in Sant Antoni de Portamany, Ibiza.

Jun 29, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

Emergencies 112 recommends that residents follow prevention advice, especially in case of smoke.


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The Military Emergency Unit has joined the operation today to extinguish the fire at the EI-600b biomass transit station number 43 in Sant Antoni de Portamany, Ibiza. The convoy, with 64 firefighters and 21 engines, will arrive in Ibiza this afternoon and will join the team that is already working, coordinated by the Directorate General of Emergencies and the Interior and made up of Environment and Ibanat agents, air quality measurement staff from the Government’s Atmosphere Service, firefighters and Environment staff from the Ibiza Island Council, staff from the Sant Antoni de Portamany Town Hall, Civil Protection volunteers, TRAGSA and private companies mobilised to supply water, as well as staff from the company that owns the activity.

The fire at the biomass transit station is a fire of plant debris, much of it shredded, mainly from gardening and forestry work. The main dangers generated by this fire for the population and the environment are, on the one hand, the smoke, which mainly affects: the surrounding houses, the C-731 Ibiza-Sant Antoni de Portamany road and the Monte Cristo industrial estate and, on the other hand, the generation of incandescent elements which, with the wind, could cause an agricultural or forest fire, given that the Serra Grossa is nearby.

It should be noted that this is not an agricultural or forestry fire, but it behaves like an industrial fire as it does not advance in the territory and it is a type of activity qualified as industrial. The material burns slowly and continuously, causing smoke and combustion has to be controlled on the surface to avoid flames.

Remember that the fire was declared on the 11th and on the 22nd the Territorial Civil Protection Plan of the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands (PLATERBAL) was activated at level 1. Last Monday, June 26, the Directorate General of Emergencies agreed to raise the level of severity of PLATERBAL to level 2 and request resources from the Spanish Government.

Thus, the actions being carried out are as follows:

  • Removal of the material that is burning with machinery to leave it in a field to the side, so that separate piles are left to cool. At the same time as the material is being removed, it is cooled with water.
  • Removal of the material that is not burning with machinery to leave it on a neighbouring plot of land, also in separate piles as in the case of the material that is burning.

In view of the columns of smoke caused by the fire, Emergencias 112 recommends that residents in the area follow the following measures when there is smoke:

  • Limit the time you spend outdoors.
  • Avoid outdoor physical exercise.
  • People with asthma, COPD or other chronic lung disorders should follow the specific recommendations of their doctor.
  • If you develop symptoms of respiratory ailments that could be related to excessive exposure to smoke, including persistent coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue or dizziness, contact your health centre as soon as possible.

If smoke is coming from the area of the fire into your home:

  • Keep doors and windows closed, and seal joints and cracks as well as possible (e.g. with adhesive tape).
  • If you use air conditioning, select indoor recirculation mode both in the home and in the car, or use fans. Do not use ventilation systems that draw outside air into the house (or car).
  • Do not rely on surgical masks, it is better if you use specific masks with a high-efficiency particulate filter (P3), also called FFP3 NR, but remember that the protection is not complete.